Spoiler Alert: The University of Illinois' Plan For The Spring 2021 Semester Sucks
Had to bust out the most generic stock image I could find for this blog to truly match the University's ludicrous plan for the Spring 2021 semester. In an email students received from the University yesterday morning the University announced the following:
The Spring 2021 Academic Calendar has changed:
The first day of classes will now be Monday, Jan. 25.
There will be no Spring Break.
Three additional non-instruction break days are being added: Feb. 17, March 24 and April 13.
Like the fall semester, the Spring 2021 semester will include a blend of in-person and remote instruction.
I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I don't understand why the University's doing this, but that doesn't mean that I have to agree with it. I've been entirely online this semester, and too put it bluntly, it's fucking terrible. It's a constant cycle of waking up, sitting on Zoom calls all day and turning in assignments the day they're due. I don't feel like I'm necessarily falling behind in my classes, but this is not the answer for the higher education system moving forward- quick shoutout to all the University of Phoenix graduates out there. I may have made fun of you for having the Alumni Bumpersticker in the past, but not anymore.
Zoom fatigue is real and I can't wait for having the week of Thanksgiving off before finals get under way next month. The recharge's necessary for students and faculty and if you think otherwise, take the stick out of your ass, you're probably the same asshole who think's its cool to give out projects over breaks. I'm absolutely disappointed about not having a Spring Break this year, me and my buddies had planned on spending it in Mexico and confirming every stereotype there is about American college students. Not having the opportunity to sit on a beach and drink for a week will probably spare me a few years and my liver will thank me, but that's a topic for a different day. We'll probably end up traveling somewhere in January to make up for it, don't want to miss out on the trip with my guys who are seniors, but that leads me to my next point, you really think no Spring Break will stop students from traveling?
I've heard people toss around traveling over Winter Break in place of a Spring Break trip and others taking their classes virtually for a few days during the originally planned Spring Break, because the "mix" of in-person and virtual instruction (I was scheduled to have two in-person classes but both were cancelled two weeks before the start of the semester). But sure, kids won't travel! BUT hey at least the University gave us three additional days off during the semester- February 17, March 24 and April 13.
Let's take a look at those dates:
Two Wednesday's and a fucking Tuesday in place of a week long Spring Break, you've truly outdone yourself this time! Couldn't even toss your students a bone and give them a long weekend where they won't hate themselves for driving to visit friends at a different school, but in essence, they're trying to create a bubble on campus and keep playing up that we're at the forefront of COVID-19 testing. Spoiler alert: the University could give two shits about the student body, but the $600 million trust fund the school received from the Melinda Gates Foundation to continue testing students twice a week sure is dandy.....
I haven't even mentioned the University's faculty and staff losing their Spring Break, they probably enjoy the break even more then us. If I was a Professor, being able to shut your brain down for the week is probably better then letting a student get some extra credit without getting caught. Not responding to pointless emails, grading, finishing lesson plans, let alone teaching. They're more upset then me I bet, and I don't blame them.
However, I'd like to place a big disclaimer on this- if this allows Illinois Basketball to play an entire season without any hiccups I'll be hard as a God damn Gnome. I have daily fantasies of Brad Underwood leading this team to a National Championship, I'll do whatever it takes to protect Ayo and Kofi.